Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Body With No BodyReleased: 1959Charted:
There were two versions of this song. The first had Stagger Lee and Billy gambling (Stagger Lee shot Billy at the end), the second, rushed out by ABC-Paramount after hearing complaints from radio listeners, had Stagger Lee and Billy arguing over a girlfriend, who goes back to Stagger at the end.
This was based on the traditional blues/folk song, "Ballad of Stack-o-Lee." There have been over 170 recorded versions, including four by Taj Mahal and eight by Mississippi John Hurt, released over the past century.
Price recorded his version at the request of Dick Clark.
This was the first rock 'n' roll record to hit #1 despite being censored.
Other versions that charted in the US: Wilson Pickett, 1967 (#22, as "Stag-O-Lee"), Tommy Roe, 1969 (#25).
In 2004 The Black Keys recorded this for their album Rubber Factory
as "Stack Shot Billy."